"When you're away I can't survive without her, I keep talking to her about you. And I hurt her. I seem to have to do it." The Great War is over. It is the summer of 1920, in rural France. By a dusty road, a girl is sitting under the shade of an apple tree.
She sees someone walking towards her. He is a young man, just back from fighting in Syria.
He joins her under the tree, and a tragic love story begins. Often compared to Chekhov, and much admired by Harold Pinter, Jean-Jacques Bernard creates a unique emotional landscape of beauty and longing, desire and disappointment. Originally written in 1922, Martine was produced all over the world during the 1920s with many leading actresses of the day in the title role, including Madeleine Renaud.
It was first produced in English at the Gate Theatre in 1929, and played the West End in 1933.
During the 1920s and 1930s, it was performed all over the world.
It was filmed for the BBC in 1952 with a cast including Claire Bloom and Denholm Elliot, and in 1985 John Fowles's translation was produced at the National Theatre, directed by Peter Hall, starring Wendy Morgan.